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Another Mouth, Another Closet

A short story about infidelity and repressed sexuality

Credit: Monika Brand from photocrowd.com

I swallow, look down and burst into flames. The image of green eyes poking out of caramel skin and a smile full of mirth fills my head. I always use up all of my ink writing her down onto paper. She walks away from the table; I’m trembling in her wake, aching for a pen. The sun dims a little more the farther she goes; I want to say something, but the words get trapped in my throat. I turn back around to my boyfriend, Oscar.

Oscar is envy, his skin is lime, his hair forest and his eyes the scales of a green snake.

“You’ve been spending a lot of time with her,” he says, and I can hear the hissing from his tongue.

“We just have to finish that project, it’s taking up all my time lately,” I pause waiting to strike. “Besides, I thought you wanted me to make friends. So we could have some space from each other.” I can feel myself picking up the knife and plunging it into his gut, twisting. I want to say I’m sorry, but in reality, I’m not. His mouth is just another closet for me to hide in.

It’s funny, when you steep yourself in lies, you end up coiling those around you too. I think Oscar has gotten so used to my suffocation, he doesn’t notice it anymore. Like when an asthmatic takes shallow breaths that burn their lungs without complaint, because it’s all they know.

“I did but it seems like she wants a little more than friendship.” Oscar hedges. I jump into a pool of light, letting myself bask in it for a few moments. Please let him be right I beg to a God I don’t worship. I bite down on my lips to stop a smile.

“Don’t worry, what could I need when I have you?” I soothe trying to caress the wounds I’ve inflicted.

I’ll never admit to being a good person, I’ve always held rattlesnakes in my belly. But maybe she can help me, because her soul is a giant sunflower, one so big, her organs barely have room inside. Maybe her light can burn the snakes, but what would I do with the ashes?

Oscar nods at my words, rubbing my thumb, then he stands while crumpling a wrapper in his hand.

“I’ve gotta go, my class starts in 10 minutes,” he explains, pressing a quick kiss to my lips. It’s cold and numb compared to her lips. As he walks away, I feel nothing but relief. There is no empty, cold air left in his wake like there is with her. It doesn’t feel like the sun has gone out.

I wriggle my phone out of my pocket and click her name, it shines up at me in black and white.

“On my way there now, can’t wait to see you,” I type and click send, my heart dancing in my chest. Tonight I will memorize her body again and write her down onto paper all over again in the morning.

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Written by Anais Rivero

Aspiring journalist, Latina woman, and film lover trying to stomp the patriarchy with my large combat boots.

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